Welcome to Day 6 of the 8 Days to a Christ-Centered Christmas blog series! Today, you get to hear from Yours Truly.
You see him on wrapping paper, gift bags, Christmas specials, and sitting in the center court of your local mall. He’s grandfatherly and kind, with a soft white beard and twinkling eyes. What damage could the jolly guy in the red suit actually do?
Quite a bit. At least that’s what a Chicago news anchor soon found out.
Earlier this month, Robin Robinson debunked the Santa Clause myth on live television. After a segment about gift-giving, She went on to say Santa did not exist and was only a symbol of generosity during the holiday season. Parents were mortified, as many of them had children in the same room as the program aired. The station forced Robin to apologize the following evening, as well as publicly read a number of Facebook rants from angry moms and dads.
Who knew such a good-hearted fictitious individual could be so controversial?
Although it goes against popular opinion, my personal belief is to never let your child believe Santa is anything more than a simple story. Call me the Grinch, but I don’t think your kid is missing out on the magic of the holiday season. If you are truthful to your little ones from the very beginning, you will undoubtedly prevent the heartache and tears later on. It also relieves undue pressure on behalf of the instigators – they don’t have to find creative ways to keep the story going.
Perhaps the biggest issue fueling my anti Santa-ism, is the dishonest aspect of the whole story. What happens when your kids eventually find out you lied to them, for the sake of a magical experience? When they discover their Christmas story Santa isn’t real, what prevents them from thinking Jesus isn’t real either?
In the mind of a child, Jesus and Santa have very similar character traits. They can both defeat the limits of humanity and have free gifts to give. The same child who watches Rudolph will also be listening to flannel graph stories in the Sunday School classroom. Will he be able to tell the difference?
By allowing a youngster to believe in Santa, I believe you are blurring the line between truth and fiction. I think you actually take away the magic of the season by portraying a story as something it is most definitely not. Christmas is a fantastic opportunity to explain Jesus’ miraculous conception and birth, which could eventually lead into the telling of the whole gospel. What could be more important than that?
Let’s instill a contagious excitement in the next generation about the true meaning of the season, not about a guy whose diet consists of milk and cookies.
How do you feel about Santa Clause?